1851 Treaty with the Tualatin Band of Kalapuyas

The Tualatin treaty was the first to be negotiated in April of 1851 by the Willamette Valley Treaty Commission. The commission was replaced by Indian Superintendent Anson Dart who took over the work and budget of the commission in June or July of 1851 under the notion that the commissioners were not federal agents and so could not legally represent the federal government in treaties.

But Dart did really appear to not like the tribes of Oregon nor have their best interests. He went with the 19 treaties to Washington, D.C. and worked for a couple years to get the treaties through Congress but a situation occurred, apparently immediately following the treaty. Within a few months of the treaty signing settlers invaded the areas to be taken as a reservation and claimed all lands under DLC laws. It remains to be determined if this was deliberate, that this was a strategy by settlers to do one of two things, take the land before ratification and thus make the reservation provision on the treaty impossible, and thus un-ratifiable, or take the land under DLC claims and see if the Federal government will then buy back the land at a premium price. I suggest perhaps both reasons were in play. Regardless, the latter reason prevailed and the treaties proved un-ratifiable and therefore Dart gave this opinion to Congress, that they not ratify the treaties, because buying out the settlers would be too costly. This made him a failure and he had to resign.

Joel Palmer took over as Indian superintendent in 1853 and due to his own DLC in Dayton being in the vicinity of the Tualatin people, he was able to see firsthand the ravages on the Tualatins caused by settler greed and colonization. He wrote about this in his letter noting the reasoning behind writing the 1854 treaty with the Twality, prematurely. The federal government had never approved the treaty to be made, nor was it ratified by the federal government.

(since the 1851 treaty was never ratified) settlers have taken and now occupy within this reserve nearly all the lands susceptible of cultivation, without regard to the occupancy of the Indians- who in several instances have been driven from their huts, their fences thrown down and property destroyed and even injuries inflicted on their persons. The feelings of the settlers and of our citizens generally towards the Indians are such, and such the interpretation of the donation act; as to render the interposition of the Indian Agents on behalf of Indian rights and for the redress of Indian ? in a great degree ineffectual.

The Wapato, Kammas, and other nutritious roots around their principal residence, and constituting their chief means of subsistences, have since the increase of swine in the country, gradually diminished in quantity, and must soon entirely fail. The wild game, formerly abundant is also becoming scarce, and an act of territorial legislature at their late session prohibiting all persons other than an Indian from supplying the Indians with arms and ammunition, renders them unable to avail themselves of the supply the forests might still afford. This act however necessary as a measure of precaution in sparsely settled districts and in the vicinity of large and warlike tribes, operates most injuriously upon the peaceful tribes and bands located in the more densely portions of the Territory, the bow and arrow having gone into disuse, and being of little efficacy in stalking game rendered timid and shy by the presence of the white man. Altho [sic], some of this and other bands are adopting the usages of the whites, are industrious and work well; there are many whose indolence and disinclination to labor, together with their destitute condition drive them to the commission of thefts, very annoying to the settlers, and often leading to serious difficulties.

The foregoing considerations convince me that no policy of the United States, other that that of colonizing the Indians of this valley in a district remote from the settlers, can secure the quiet and good order of society, and the elevation and improvement of the Indians, or even prevent their annihilation.[1]

[1] Palmer, Joel, Letter if March 27, 1854, Documents relating to the Negotiation of an Unratified treaty March 25, 1854, with the Kalapuya Indians.

Copy of a Treaty Made & concluded at Champoeg in the Territory of Oregon 19th April 1851 between Jno P. Gaines, A,A Skinner, B.S. Allen Commissioners,  the chiefs of the Twality Band of the Callapooyas Tribe of Indians.

Articles of Agreement and treaty stipulations entered into at Champoeg in the Territory of Oregon, on the 19th day of April A,D, 1851 by and between John B. Gaines, Alonzo A. Skinner and Beverly S. Allen, Commissioner plenipotentiary on the part of the Government of the United States and Ki-a-cut  principal Chief, and La-Medicine, and Kno-tah subordinate chiefs of the Twalaty Band of the Callapooya tribe of Indians. 1st The said Twalaty Band of the Calapooya Tribe of Indians, do hereby acknowledge and declare themselves lawfully and exclusively, under the jurisdiction of the Government of the United States and its laws and regulations for the intercourse of the whites with the Indians, under the Government of dais states; and they do further agree, that, perpetual peace and amity, shall exist between, them and the people of the United States, the said tribe, hereby binding themselves, most solemnly never to give countenance or aid, to  any tribe of Band of Indians, or other persons or powers, who may, at anytime, be at enmity with the people of the United States’ and that they will, at all times hereafter treat honestly and humanely, every citizen of the United States, and all persons and powers, at peace with the said States, and all cases of aggressions against or injuries inflicted upon said tribe are to be referred to the aforesaid Government for adjustment and settlement.

Article 2nd It is hereby agreed, that, the Government of the United States, binds, itself (so long as said tribe shall comply with the stipulation of this treaty) to protect from injuries inflicted upon them, or their property, by any citizen or citizens of the United States.

Article 3rd It is further agreed that the said band or Tribe, hereby, ceded, to the Government of the United States, the lands contained in the following bounds, except the reservation hereinafter set forth, that is to say; commencing at a point on the summit of the Coast Range of Mountains, due west from the headwaters of the Yamhills River; thence, East to its headwaters; thence, down said fork, to its junction with the North Fork, thence down the Yamhill River to its entrance into the Wallamette River; thence down said Wallamette, to a point about four miles above the the entrance of the Twalaty River into the Wallamette; thence, in a northwardly direction, until the line strikes a small lake (called Sucker Lake)  supported to be near of the Towns of Oswego, Portland, Milton and St. Helens; thence, from said Lake following the summit of Range to the Coast Range of Mountains; thence, along the summit of said Coast Range, to the place of beginning.

Article 4th The contracting parties agree, that said Band or Tribe, shall reserve to their own use and control, with the bounds above set forth, with the provisions hereto annexed, the lands, in the following bounds to wit; beginning at the South west corner of Philip F. Thompson’s land claim; thence, east with said Thompson’s south boundary line, and beyond the same on all three and a half miles thence, northwardly eight miles, in such a direction, as to strike the south fork of the Twality River, one mile above the crossing of said fork, at the land claim, formerly owned by John Mills; thence, westwardly, at right angles, with said line, six miles; thence, southwardly at right angles, with said last mentioned line, eight miles; thence, to the place of beginning: Provided however, that all citizens of the United States, who, have taken land claims, within said reservation, agreeably to the provisions of an Act, of the Congress of the United States, approved the 27th day of September A.D. 1850, entitled “an Act to create the office of Surveyor General, of the Public Land in Oregon, and to provide for the survey, and to make donations, to settlers of said Public Lands,”  and who may, ? title themselves to a grant from the Government of the United States’ under the provisions of said Act, shall be, in all things protected therein, and the said land claims are, hereby, ceded to the United States, for that purpose, whenever the same shall be surveyed, and marked out, as is required by said Act; but, no other person or persons, from and after the date of this treaty, shall settler upon, or in any wise occupy; said land described within the bounds of this reservation; provided , that nothing herein contained, shall prohibit the proper authorities of the Territory of Oregon, from establishing Public highways, through said reservation, wherever the public convenience may require it.

Article 5th The Government of the United States agrees, in consideration of the lands hereby, ceded, to pay to said Band or tribe the sum of Forty thousand dollars, to be, paid in twenty annual installments, of two thousand dollars each, Five hundred dollars of which is ti be paid in cash, and the remainder to be expended in the purchase of one hundred and thirty blankets; thirty eight coast; seventy six pairs of pants; one hundred and fifty two shirts; seventy six vests; one hundred and thirty pairs of shoes; two hundred yards of calico; two hundred yards of Linsey plaid, twenty seven blanket shawls; two hundreds yards domestic shirting; thirty eight hats or caps’ one hundred and thirty pocket handkerchiefs, twenty four axes, five plows; ten plow harnesses; twenty four hoes, six scythes and cradles; all of which are to be good and substantial articles, The first payment to be made as soon after the notification of the Treaty by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, as practicable, all of said payments to be made at the town of Champoeg, in the County of Marion. The Distribution of the same to be made by a disbursing Officer of the United States, to the individuals of said tribe, one notice being given to said tribe, to assemble and receive the same.

It is understood and agreed by the contracting parties that the said band or tribe , are to be allowed the privilege of receiving from the Government of the United States, any other articles , in lieu of the agricultural implements, herein signifying their wish so to do, to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon Territory, at least one year, previous to the time, when such change is desired. It is also , further agreed, that, at the time, when each of the first two payments, herein, stipulated, are made, the United States, will deliver, to said Chiefs, to be by them distributed among their tribe, five good Rifle guns with barrels not less then three and a half feet in length; and, also at the time, when the first payment above mentioned, is made, the United States, agree to deliver to each of said Chiefs, a good Indian horse, and a good bridle , for the use of said chiefs, to encourage agriculture among said tribe.

In testimony, whereof we have signed this treaty, and affixed our seals at Champoeg in the Territory of Oregon, the day and year above written.

Jno P Gaines (seal)

Alonzo A Skinner (Seal)

Beverly S. Allen (seal)


Ki-a-cuts His X mark (Seal)

La Medicine his X Mark (seal)

Kno-tah his X Mark (Seal)

In presence of

Edmd A. Starling Secty to Bd of Coms

Robert Newell Interpreter

George Gibbs Commissioner

J. L. Parrish Indian Sub Agent

Wm M. Doughty

P.F. Thompson

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